June 30, 2021

Things That Helped Me Get Back On Track With Weight Loss

I've been going strong for over five weeks now, finally making some progress in dropping the extra weight I picked up over the last few years. Five weeks isn't a long time in the grand scheme of things, but considering how many times I've tried to get "back on track" in the last three years, five weeks seems like an eternity.

Something feels different now, too--I don't see myself quitting. I am super determined to be at a healthy, comfortable weight before my 40th birthday in January. I don't feel like every day is a struggle, nor am I counting the days until it's "over" (because it's never over, as we all know). I feel GOOD. I feel like what I'm doing is something I can do indefinitely.

(Excuse the random photo--I literally took this picture right at this moment, because I can't think of any other photo for this post!)

Again, it's only been five weeks, but I feel like I've made enormous strides in that amount of time. I've lost much more than I anticipated--over 16 pounds! Several people have asked me for advice on getting back on track. I wish I had magic words or a concrete plan, but I tried so many times myself and it just didn't click. I think the biggest key is just to keep trying, because eventually it WILL click. I'm sure that's how I managed, throughout the last decade, not to gain back all the weight I lost.

So, while my advice may or may not help, I just thought I'd share a few things that helped ME get back on track...

1) I enlisted a friend to do it with me. My friend Caitlin (who lost 242 pounds!) had a baby last year and she was struggling to lose the baby weight. We've commiserated with each other about our weight struggles throughout the years (she lost the weight around the same time I did) and we were both getting pretty fed up--quite literally--of not just taking action to lose the weight. (Here is a guest post by Caitlin)

When I decided to sign up for the DietBet, I asked Caitlin if she'd like to do it, too. She jumped on board. We've also been doing the Couch to 5K "together" (she lives in Boston, so "together" just means we're doing the same workouts and talking about them).

Somehow, having a friend to check in with and talk to about this stuff has been really helpful. In the beginning, we each texted a photo once a day of a picture of when we were feeling really good--not our "thinnest" pictures, but pictures of when we were feeling happy and confident and comfortable. Looking through the photos was very inspiring--I want to feel that comfortable in my own skin again.

2) I went back to my old go-to snack: grapes. I LOVE grapes and I've been told that I eat way too many of them. I promise you that I do, haha. But you know what? Grapes are a heck of a lot healthier than the other stuff I was/could be eating. I buy pounds of grapes at a time and I weigh out 300 grams (about 200 calories) for a snack.

Having a healthy go-to snack that I really love is super helpful in getting back on track because in the beginning, whenever I just wanted to quit and eat (insert lots of junk food here), I would eat a big bowl of grapes without guilt and not blow all of my calories.

3) I didn't make anything too hard or too complicated. My exercise plan is simply the Couch to 5K plan (which is three days a week, 20-30 minutes or so per workout). I didn't want to get overzealous and take on too much. Maybe I'll add more later, who knows?

As far as my diet, I went back to what works and what has always worked for me--counting calories. This is the only thing I've ever been able to do long term and see through to my goal weight. I don't worry about macros or anything else--just the calories. I'm NOT saying that this is what everybody should do! What I'm saying is that we all know what works best for us, so we should do what we know. What has worked in the past and what is do-able forever.

4) I still allow for "treats" in my diet--daily, if I want. It worked really well for me in 2009-2010 when I lost 125 pounds, and it still works. Lately, I have been really into homemade desserts or quick breads (usually the stuff I make out of the heritage cookbook). Having a warm slice of carrot bread in the evening with a cup of tea is heavenly.

5) I started cooking more and more frequently. Sometime early last year, or maybe even in 2019, I started to despise cooking. I'm really not even sure why that happened! I used to love to cook but eventually, I just found it to be a chore. My kids got pickier as they got older, so I found I was making the same tired recipes over and over, and I wasn't making foods I love because it was stuff that the kids wouldn't like.

Recently, however, I decided to start making things that interest me--and if the kids don't like it, well, they can have cereal for dinner. I went through the heritage cookbook and used Post-Its to mark recipes that interest me (either to make and share on the blog, or just make because they look good). I marked a LOT of recipes!

Making new recipes has made me feel excited about cooking again. (But not grocery shopping--still hate that.) And new recipes are fun to spend calories on--I find it much more satisfying than always eating the same dishes over and over. I count up the calories in advance and then plan the rest of my food for the day around dinner.

Again, that's just what works for me; it certainly won't work for everyone!

And there you have it. I tried not to be redundant by writing out the same advice I've given several times in the past. Here is a post with a lot of weight loss advice I wrote a few years ago--I still stand by everything I wrote.

While it's "only" been five weeks, I also don't want to downplay the fact that it's been five whole weeks(!). Haha, I am really happy that I've managed to finally get back the drive that kept me going all these years. I have no idea what the future holds as far as returning to my goal weight, but I am feeling very positive about it :)


  1. Congrats on reaching five weeks! Getting started is always super hard, but now that you’ve seen results, the momentum will continue. I like the idea of portioning out your snacks, but I doubt you could overeat on fruit in the same way as junk food. You are talking about 200 calories of fiber, nutrients, and natural sugar in your grapes. Compare that to my favorite bag of candy (pure sugar, no nutrients) and a bottle of wine (binge drinking) for 2,000. It sounds like you are eating healthier than you used to, and that’s awesome.

  2. Thanks for writing this! I've been trying to get back on track - and failing repeatedly. This is a good reminder to just start simple.

  3. Also totally agree about the grapes -- it's a much better option than grabbing a bag of chips or bagel or candy or wine. And I love that you are making what you want -- kids can absolutely eat cereal or make their own dinner if they don't like your options.

  4. Excellent tips! In what world are too many grapes bad!? People are crazy

  5. AnonymousJuly 05, 2021

    I just started calorie counting and like it so much bc of the freedom it allows! Can I ask what calorie range you aim for each day?

  6. AnonymousJuly 05, 2021

    I just started calorie counting (after years of weight watchers) and love it so much better because of the freedom it allows. My whole day isn’t tanked from a piece of pizza or a piece of cake. Can I ask what calorie range you aim for each day?


I used to publish ALL comments (even the mean ones) but I recently chose not to publish those. I always welcome constructive comments/criticism, but there is no need for unnecessary rudeness/hate. But please--I love reading what you have to say! (This comment form is super finicky, so I apologize if you're unable to comment)

Featured Posts

Blog Archive